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Re: Jurassic Croc Found With Fish Like Tail

Right. I would like to know more of how such a fossil skeleton would appear to ordinary observers.
Even though scales are not preserved in most cases, many of the Native American stories about water monsters refer to scales, or a lizard-like skin, or "scaly armor," and their images often include this feature. I think this is because they related the fossil to living snakes and lizards and to water creatures that they knew, fish, alligators, etc.

On Mar 20, 2007, at 1:34 PM, David Marjanovic wrote:

These notable features of the Jurassic crocodile (needle teeth, forked fish-tail, scales or scutes)

Scales are not preserved -- in fact, as carbonized soft-tissue remains from Germany show, the metriorhynchids had lost them (like the ichthyosaurs). The tail is like an ichthyosaur's, too -- that is, the vertebral column is kinked downwards. In the absence of soft- tissue remains, few people will guess that the part behind the kink supported the lower lobe of a forked tail fin.

The head is hard to get wrong, however! You may well be right just because of this alone.